Yellowstone National Park, the large swath of land resting on the Yellowstone plateau in the northwest corner of Wyoming, is home to diverse wildlife, unique geological formations and the most concentrated amount of geothermal activity in the entire world. Originally home to Native Americans some 11,000 years ago, what we know as Yellowstone National Park began in 1872, when President Grant signed the “The Act of Dedication” into law making Yellowstone the first National Park in the world, let alone the United States. Travelers on our Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park tour will get to visit the park and view its famed geysers, traverse its nature trails, get up close to its wildlife and two of the park’s famed lodges. Here are our top 5 highlights of visiting Yellowstone with VBT
The Storm Point Trail with views of Lake Yellowstone
After an included lunch at the storied Lake Yellowstone Hotel, your first walk of the tour within Yellowstone National Park is along the flat Storm Point Trail. This 2.2 mile out and back loop leads you through old-growth lodgepole pine forest, left miraculously untouched by the 1988 Yellowstone wildfires, to an overlook offering impressive views of Lake Yellowstone. At 20 miles long and 15 miles across, Lake Yellowstone is the largest body of water in the park and the largest lake located above 7,000ft in the whole country!
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
On the morning of day 4, you’ll visit the stunning Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, whose oxidizing iron walls give off the appearance of the yellow color and is one of the theories behind the namesake of the river that formed the canyon. You’ll walk along the rim of the canyon and stop at spectacular viewpoints of the two largest waterfalls in the park—the Upper and Lower Falls.
Did you know that the geysers of Yellowstone National Park geysers make up two-thirds of the total amount found in the world? Although Yellowstone NP contains over 1,200 geysers—465 of which are active annually—the one that is on every park visitor’s agenda is the famed Old Faithful Geyser. Despite not being the largest of the Yellowstone geysers—that distinction goes to the 300ft blast of the Steamboat Geyser—Old Faithful’s consistency is what sets it apart. If you don’t arrive just in time to see an eruption, you won’t have to wait long since Old Faithful erupts every 90 minutes or so, hence its name.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge
Located just a few hundred yards from the Old Faithful geyser, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins is an award-winning facility— including Travel + Leisure’s Inn of the Month and a Gold Lever Green Leader by Trip Advisor— with an appeal that is both rustic and contemporary. Originally built in 1999, this luxurious retreat of classic log architecture is the park’s newest hotel. The main building is made of wooden log columns with a cedar shingle roof. Some of the lodge's wood was recycled from the same mill that provided lumber for the famous Old Faithful Inn in 1904.
Grand Prismatic Spring
One of the highlights of the walking route on day 5 is the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States and also the most colorful place, according to Conde Naste Traveler. The Grand Prismatic is known for its rainbow of colors that are caused by bacteria living at the spring’s edges: reds, yellows, greens, and blues create a vivid pool on the basin floor. You’ll get to view these amazing hot springs from the trail, far above the crowded boardwalks that skirt its shores.
For more information about how to reserve your spot of our Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s First National Park tour, please click here. Please call one of our Tour Consultants at 800-245-3868 to reserve your spot. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am-3:00pm EST. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations please click here.